What is a gas safety certificate and do I need one?

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Gas safety certificates, also known as cp12 certificates, are used to show that gas appliances, like boilers, flues, fires and hobs are in good working order.

In general, if you’re a homeowner, you don’t need to have a gas safety certificate for your appliances. However, it can still be well worth having them inspected on a regular basis to ensure they’re safe to use. What’s more, some home insurance companies do require certificates in order for a policy to be valid.
Last update: November 2022

As you may have heard on the news, the UK energy market is currently under an immense amount of stress as a result of a global gas shortage driving up costs and putting several energy suppliers out of business. To learn more about this and stay updated on a daily basis you can read our page on the UK energy crisis.

If you’re a landlord, you are legally required to have valid gas safety certificates for all gas appliances in your rented properties. Certificates need to be renewed every 12 months and it’s essential that your gas safety record is always up to date.

To help you understand exactly what a gas safety certificate is, and whether or not you need on, we’re taking a closer look at this important safety check and everything it involves.

How much does a gas safety certificate cost?

There’s no fixed cost for a gas safety certificate. Instead, engineers are free to set their own fees. As a result, the cost of a gas safety certificate can vary depending on the engineer you use and your geographical location. Customers in London generally pay more for certificates while those in less expensive regions may be able to find a cheaper deal.

On average gas safety certificates in the UK cost between £60 and £90 including VAT. If you have a number of gas appliances, getting them all checked at the same time could save you money.

Some companies advertise certificates for as little as £30 per appliance. However, these quotes may include a number of hidden costs, so it’s important to check the small print carefully before you sign on the dotted line.

How much is a landlord gas certificate?

The cost of a gas safety certificate should be the same whether you’re a landlord or owner occupier (in general tenants don’t need to worry about gas safety certificates as landlords are responsible for the upkeep of gas appliances).

If you own a property that’s currently rented out, you’ll need to budget between £60 and £90 per year for your gas safety certificate. If you own a number of properties, you may be able to negotiate a discount if you use the same engineer, or the same company, for all of your certificates.

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Why do you need a gas safety certificate?

Gas safety certificates show that a gas-fired appliance is in good working order and is safe to use. This is important as faulty gas appliances can be dangerous.

For example, if your boiler isn’t working properly it could leak toxic chemicals, including carbon monoxide, into the home. This can potentially cause illness and, in extreme cases, death.

The main dangers of a faulty gas appliance are:

  • Gas leaks – Gas leaks are very dangerous and can result in fires or explosions. If you think you can smell gas, then you’ll need to call your emergency service provider straight away. During your gas safety check, your engineer will do a visual inspection of pipework and a tightness test to confirm there aren’t any leaks.
  • Fires and explosions – Safe appliances burn gas in a controlled way. However, a faulty appliance, or faulty pipework, can leak gas which can then be ignited.
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning – Carbon monoxide (CO) is a highly poisonous gas that can be released when gas isn’t burned properly. It’s especially deadly because you can’t see, taste or smell it.

In order to receive a gas safety certificate, an appliance must be checked to ensure it’s working as it should be. The engineer will also check associated parts of the appliance, like the flue, pipework and safety features, to make sure the appliances is safe to use.

How long does a gas safety certificate last?

A gas safety certificate lasts for 12 months. This means that you’ll need to arrange for your appliances to be checked, and your certificates to be renewed, every year.

If you’re a homeowner, you’re not legally required to have a gas safety certificate. However, it’s still a good idea to get your appliances checked by a registered engineer on a regular basis.

If you have home insurance, it’s possible that a gas safety certificate will be a condition of the policy. If you need to make a claim, your insurer may request a gas safety certificate before they pay out.

Some manufacturers also require a gas safety record to be kept in order for a warranty to be valid. When you buy a new appliance, like a boiler, gas hob or gas fire, make sure you check the conditions of the warranty to ensure you’re able to claim if something goes wrong.

If you’re a landlord, having gas safety certificates for all of your appliances is legally required. You’ll need to ensure these are renewed every year in order for your property to be safe and to stay within the law. You will also need to provide your tenants with a copy of the certificate within 28 days of the check being carried out.

Is it illegal to sell a house without a gas safety certificate?

A gas safety certificate isn’t required by law when selling a house. If you’re an owner occupier, you don’t need to arrange for a safety check to be carried out before putting your home on the market. However, buyers may be reassured, and therefore more keen to make an offer, if a recent safety check has been completed.

If you’re a landlord selling the property with tenants in place, you will need to have a valid gas safety certificate.

What is included in a gas safety check?

During a gas safety check, a registered Gas Safe engineer will thoroughly check your gas appliances to ensure they’re properly installed and are working correctly. They’ll look at things like the pipework, flue, connecting points and ignition system, checking for faults and obvious signs of damage as they go.

Learn more about Gas Safe here.

If any safety issues are identified during a gas safety check, your engineer will recommend any action that needs to be taken in order to bring the appliance up to an acceptable standard. In some cases, the engineer may be able to carry out simple repairs there and then, allowing your appliances to be fixed and certified.

At the end of the gas safety check, the engineer will provide a gas safety record. This is very important as it’s the document that proves the check has taken place. The record will include:

  • A description of each appliance tested
  • Results of the safety checks carried out on each appliance
  • Any safety issues identified during the checks
  • Any action or work needed to ensure safety
  • Details of the engineer who did the checks, their signature and the date of the check
  • Details of the landlord or homeowner and the property

Make sure you keep your gas safety record somewhere safe.

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What safety certificates do landlords need?

Gas safety certificates are among the most important safety certificates that landlords need. However, they are not the only certificates required by law in the UK. If you’re a landlord, you – or your management company – will also have to arrange:

If you’re a tenant, it’s important to check that your landlord has all of these documents in place when your tenancy begins. If you’re missing anything, contact your landlord, or letting agency, to let them know.

Do landlords need a gas safety certificate every year?

It’s a legal requirement for landlords to have a valid gas safety certificate in place on every rented property they own. These certificates need to be renewed every 12 months.

Is it a legal requirement to provide an electrical safety certificate?

As well as gas safety certificates, landlords also need to provide electrical safety certificates for their rented properties. Like gas safety certificates, these are issued by qualified engineers after a thorough safety check. Electrical safety certificates last 5 years.

What happens if you don’t have a gas safety certificate?

If you’re a homeowner and your gas safety certificate has expired, or you haven’t arranged for a safety check to be carried out, you don’t have to do anything.

As an owner-occupier, you’re not legally required to have a certificate in place. You only need to arrange for a gas safety check to be completed if it’s a requirement of your home insurance policy or manufacturer warranty, or for peace of mind.

Landlords that don’t have valid gas safety certificates in place need to arrange for checks to be carried out urgently. Letting a property that doesn’t have a gas safety certificate is illegal and can be viewed as a criminal offence. Non-compliance can result in a fine and even imprisonment.

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Getting a Gas Safety Certificate during COVID-19

During the COVID-19 pandemic, carrying out safety checks and maintaining properties has been a little more complicated than normal. While government guidelines have allowed gas safety checks during the pandemic, in many cases, tenants have been understandably reluctant to allow workmen into their homes.

As a landlord, you’re still required to arrange annual gas safety checks. However, if your tenants refuse to allow an engineer access to the property, there is some flexibility in the rules. In most cases, you’ll just need to show that you took reasonable steps to ensure the checks were in place.

Make sure that you keep records of your communication with your tenants to prove that you attempted to carry out the gas safety check.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Advice for landlords

You can find up to date advice for landlords about COVID-19 on the government website. Check for regular updates to ensure you always follow the latest guidelines.

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How often should you have a gas safety check?

Gas safety certificates are valid for 12 months. This means that you’ll need to arrange for checks to be carried out, and a new certificate issued, every year.

Who can issue a gas safety certificate?

Gas safety certificates can only be issued by gas safe engineers. These engineers are specially trained in dealing with gas appliances and so are best placed to identify faults and deal with any resulting safety issues. Whenever you have work down on your gas appliances, it’s important to ensure the engineer doing the job is fully qualified.

Do British Gas do gas safety certificates?

British Gas do offer gas safety certificates. If you take out a Homecover policy with the energy supplier, you’ll get an annual gas safety check as part of the deal.

What happens if a landlord doesn't have a gas safety certificate?

Landlords that don’t have gas safety certificates in place can face fines and even imprisonment. If you’re a landlord and your certificates have lapse, make sure you arrange for new safety checks to be carried out as soon as possible.

Updated on 30 Nov, 2022

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